After long restoration the old parish church of San Prosdocimo Oltre Brenta [St. Prosdocimus beyond the Brenta] in the town of Villanova di Camposampiero is again open to the public.
Within it one can see traces of the old Romanesque church, as well as a copy of the Renaissance altarpiece by Andra Previtali. The recent restoration of the parish church has meant that the town of Villanova di Camposampiero has re-acquired an important part of its past. The whole history of this – one of the oldest rural parish churches in the Diocese of Padua – casts light upon the history of popular religious worship in the countryside of this area. The church is dedicated to St. Prosdocimus – the first bishop of Padua – and its name includes the specification’beyond the Brenta’ because it was that river which marked the southern boundary of the grid layout (centuriation) of the original Roman settlement here.
Located just a short distance from Villa Ruzzini, the present-day church dates from 1780. However, restoration work has brought to light the foundations of the ancient church here, which dated back to the Romanesque period (11th-12th century).
This rural parish church is significant not only for these Romanesque foundations but also for the presence of tenth-century tombs, areas of brickwork that date from the pre-Longobard period, traces of old frescoes and well-preserved altars. It also houses a copy of an elegant Renaissance painting by Andrea Previtali, a pupil of Giovanni Bellini.